McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

October 28, 2013

County Commissioners seek advice on lease

McALESTER —

Pittsburg County commissioners want advice from the District 18 District Attorney’s office before moving forward with a proposed lease agreement connected to planned improvements to a volunteer fire department.
District 1 Commissioner Gene Rogers and District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith considered the item when they met in regular session Monday in the commissioners’ conference room at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.
It regards the Blue Volunteer Fire Department. The land in question had been deeded to the Blue Volunteer Fire Department by property owners Jerry and Barbara Donathan, according to county documents.
“The landowner kept a clause that if it (the fire department) ever stops existing, it goes back to him,” Smith said, referring to the land deeded to the fire department.
Although the original agreement had only been between the property owners and the Blue Fire Department, Pittsburg County is now involved because of a grant application made by the Blue Fire Department through the Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma, also known as KEDDO.
The application for a Rural Emergency Action Plan, or REAP, grant, requires that the county be involved since county tax dollars would be expended on the project.
“This has to be a lease from the fire department to the county,” Smith said.
Smith said he had a concern about what would happen to the property, after county tax dollars had been used to improve it, if the Blue Volunteer Fire Department ever ceased to exist.
He also noted that the county had not been part of the original agreement between the property owners and the Blue Volunteer Fire Department.
“Now that we’re involved . I would feel more comfortable if the DA’s office looks at it,” Smith said. “The original agreement was made before we were involved.”
District 18 Assistant District Attorney Chuck Sullivan agreed to review the document for the commissioners and report the results to them. He said the land involved is 1.08 acres.

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